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Quality inspection and sorting

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Cognex vision guarantees perfect pizza
Ensuring the quality of the world's favorite food is no laughing matter. When you supply over 110,000 units of pizza everyday, you need to make sure that each product is fully inspected and of the utmost quality. Gunnar Dafgård AB is Sweden’s largest family business in the food sector. They manufacture and distribute frozen and chilled products to food services and retail outlets all over Sweden and beyond. Dafgård now has around 1000 employees and a turnover of approximately 200 million Euros.

In order to improve high quality and confront increasingly tough competition within the food industry in Sweden, each freshly baked pizza is inspected with vision from Cognex.

The quality control challenge:
Dafgård installed vision in order to inspect the different varieties of pizzas produced and marketed under the common brand “Billy”. Production is ongoing in the largest pizza bakery in Sweden, located outside Lidköping in the west of Sweden. Every day 110,000 units of Billy’s pan-pizza are manufactured and distributed frozen, to food services and to retail outlets in Sweden and beyond. Each individual pizza must be inspected to ensure correct form, size and look, all vital statistics for the success of a brand on any tough consumer market. In order to maintain high production levels as well as reliable and consistent quality control, a robust and highly automated solution needed to be found.

An improved production environment thanks to vision
The decision was made over five years ago to install vision systems as Dafgård began the automation of their food-production. Previously, manual inspection was done under complicated circumstances with random sampling that made it difficult for the company to secure reliable quality control of production on the pizza line. The In-Sight® vision system from Cognex inspects the position of the pizzas on the production line ensuring the look, the size and the form of the pizzas are correct. Even the coverage of cheese on the surface of the pizza is inspected. Any pizzas not conforming are rejected. The vision system was installed by a Cognex’ Partner System Integrator, AVT Industriteknik AB. AVT developed a user-friendly interface which made it possible for the employees on the pizza line to make choices of different vision applications and make adjustments of the vision program without any previous experience in machine vision.

According to Ove Rydberg, Project Leader of Dafgård, “Our use of vision-system for automatic inspection is an integrated part of the job for improved quality and a better working environment for the employees on the pizza-line. Cognex was chosen based on the fact that Cognex have in-depth knowledge of the food industry worldwide”. 

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